• Student Drug Testing

     
    The District has determined that its students use alcohol and illegal drugs in numbers greater than the state average as defined by the Texas A&M Texas School Survey of Drug and Alcohol Use, despite the District’s previous efforts to resolve these problems. In response to this concern, a student drug-testing program has been implemented. Its intended purpose shall be:
    • To allow each student in programs subject to testing to make a commitment against drug use;
    • To give each student an effective tool against drug use;
    • To ensure the health and safety of each student during practice and performance;
    • To offer educational assistance to students who may be identified as having substance abuse problems, and
    • To deter drug use by students.

    All students in grades 7-12 participating in extracurricular school-sponsored athletics, band, cheerleading, dance, choir, and UIL academic activities will be subject to testing. This program shall include testing at the beginning of each school year and at the beginning of the spring season, and random testing throughout the school year. Participation in extracurricular activities is a privilege, not a right, and students must meet specific requirements in order to participate.

    For more policy information, please click on the link Read Policy On-line.
     
     
    Frequently Asked Questions about the Random Drug Testing Program
     
    Q. How does the district know there is a student drug and alcohol problem?
    A. We utilized the results of a survey of 5-12th-grade students regarding drug and alcohol use. The survey, conducted by Texas A&M, is used by numerous districts across the state, so we were able to compare our results with other districts and with the state average. We found that drug and alcohol use among our secondary students was above the state average in almost every category.

    Q. Where did the idea of student drug testing come from?
    A. Once we received the results from this survey in early 2003, we shared them with our Board of Education, our District Planning and Advisory Committee, our Parent Teacher Organizations, and several other district committees and area organizations. The response from all of these organizations was the same; we need to do something to address drug and alcohol use among our students.

    Because school district officials felt like this was not a district issue, but a community issue that needed to be addressed on all fronts by churches, businesses, schools, parents, community groups, etc, the idea of a Task Force for Drug-Free Communities was born. This group is made up of business men and women, area pastors, school counselors and administrators, parents volunteers, City officials, and any one who is interested in helping.

    One of the ideas that came from the community task force was to explore the use of a random drug-testing policy for students involved in extracurricular activities. District officials began researching the issue to see if it could have a positive impact in our fight against student drug use. After studying research and talking to other districts with similar programs in place, the district moved forward with the process. 

    Q. I heard on the news that all students will be tested. Is that true?

    A. No. Due to legal restraints, the district can only test students who are involved in extra-curricular activities. This includes all students in grades 7-12 participating in extracurricular school-sponsored athletics, band, cheerleading, dance, choir, and UIL academic activities. This program shall include testing at the beginning of each school year, beginning of the spring season, and random testing throughout the school year. Participation in extracurricular activities is a privilege, not a right, and students must meet specific requirements in order to participate.


    Q. Isn’t this program just another way to try to catch kids doing something wrong?
    A. The district is not trying to see how many students we can catch using drugs or alcohol. What we are trying to do is to give students a reason to say "No," when they are faced with the choice of whether to use drugs or alcohol.

    Students often find themselves in situations where drugs and alcohol are available. With the great amount of peer pressure to try such things, we find that students often need a strong motivation to say "no" to temptations. Involvement in extracurricular activities is extremely important to many students, and the threat of being removed from that activity because of a positive drug test may be enough for them to say "no" when faced with that choice of whether to use drugs and alcohol.

    The program is also designed to help educate and counsel students who are using drugs or alcohol. Our ultimate goal is to arm our students with the tools they need to make good choices.

    Q. Who came up with the policies and procedures for the drug testing?
    A. All of the extracurricular sponsors worked together to draft policies and procedures for this program. The policies are designed, not to catch people doing something wrong, but instead to identify students who have a problem, or who are making bad choices, and to offer them help and counseling so that they will hopefully make better decisions the next time around. The policy is designed to offer students a chance to rehabilitate without being removed from the activity, but it does remove them for repeated offenses.

    Q. Do parents have to sign a consent form?
    A. Currently, when students participate in extracurricular activities, parents have to sign a release form, which deals with health and safety issues. Parental consent for the drug testing program would be included in this parental release form.

    Q. What if the parents don’t sign the consent form?
    A. Participation in extracurricular activities is a privilege, not a right, and students must meet specific requirements in order to participate. Parental consent for drug testing is one of these requirements, and if it is not received, the student will not be able to participate in extracurricular activities.

    Q. Who will be tested?
    A. All students in grades 7-12 participating in extracurricular school-sponsored athletics, band, cheerleading, dance, choir, and UIL academic activities.

    Q. How often will students be tested?
    A. All affected students will be tested randomly tests throughout the school year. Students who participate in activities that start mid-year will be tested during the Spring semester. Ten percent of the students participating in the program will be randomly selected for each test date. The students will be chosen using confidential student numbers and all students in the program will be eligible for testing at each date.
     
    Q. Will the results be confidential?
    A. Yes. All results of drug testing will be confidential and will be disclosed only to the student, the student’s parents and designated District officials.

    Q. How do you know the test is accurate?
    A. All positive results will be confirmed by a second, more definitive test before being reported as positive. If a second test is reported positive, another test will be performed by a Medical Review Officer (MRO). The MRO will also consult with the parents or guardians to see if the student is taking any other medications that may have caused a false positive.

    Q. What happens if a student tests positive?
    A. Following the first confirmed positive result, the student must complete an approved drug education/drug counseling program and present evidence to appropriate school personnel of satisfactory completion. The student will be re-tested on the dates of the next three random tests. The student will not be removed from the extracurricular activity at this time. The district will provide information about several approved drug education programs in the area. However, if a parent/guardian wishes to use another facility, they can do that with the approval of the district.

    Following a second confirmed positive test result, the student will be removed from participation in applicable school sponsored performances/games/competitions for 30 school days. The student will be allowed to continue practice during this suspension. The student must attend an approved drug education/drug counseling program and attend sessions of in school counseling as determined by the school counselor. The student must present to appropriate school personnel evidence of successful completion of both programs. The student will be retested on the dates of the next three random tests.

    Following a third confirmed positive test result, the student will be removed from the applicable school sponsored activity for the remainder of their school career. After one calendar year, an appeal can be made for reinstatement contingent upon substantiated rehabilitation.

    Q. Are all decisions final?
    A. A student or parent may appeal any decision made under the drug testing program in accordance with Board policy. The student will be ineligible for participation in any applicable school sponsored program until the appeal process has been completed.